Favorites, Weekly Obsessions

Weekly Obsessions VIII

Happy Friday! How was your week? Although I really dislike driving to work in the dark, I have to admit, it’s been nice to have the sun out much later at night. After work today, I’m heading to a bachelorette party for the weekend. Luckily it’s not too far so the drive should be easy. I’ll do my best to check in tomorrow per usual. Below are a few items that I have been loving this week! Have a great day πŸ™‚

Ham & Potato Soup


Ham and potato soup is something that my dad has made for years now. He found a recipe on linked in that has almost 10,000 5 star reviews and it’s the best! I made it on Sunday and had it for leftovers later in the week. The only change I made to the recipe (that my dad told me he does) is to go heavy on potatoes and ham and omit the onion. The recipe doesn’t call for using an immersion blender but my dad started doing that a few years ago. Game changer! It makes the soup thicker and is so good. I don’t have an immersion blender and used my Ninja blender which did the trick.

The Knockoff


Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza wrote such a fun read with The Knockoff. It’s the story of Imogen Tate, the editor in Chief of Glossy magazine, who comes back to work after 6 months away from sick leave. When she returns, the office she left has completely changed. Her beloved magazine has become a website and her former assistant seems to be the boss. Imogen has to try to navigate the world with social media while figuring out where she fits into the new world. As we head into spring and warmer weather (I hope!), this would be the perfect read while sitting outside.

Pomegranate and Lemon Verbana Body Wash


I had been using a Bath & Body Works shower gel for a while and it was empty so while at Target on Sunday I picked this one up from Up & Up. Full transparency I just grabbed this one because it had the cheapest price per unit which is how I shop most of the time. This may be my new go to body wash. The scent is amazing! It’s strong without being in your face. It almost has an awakening feel to it which is nice in the morning. I love the scent and it’s creamy without being thick and suds pretty well on me.

Why Easy Miles Should Actually Be Easy


This is a blog post from Elizabeth Jansen. She is not an expert (i.e not a trained coach or certified in anyway) by any means but she gives her experience in how running easy miles every week has helped her decrease her marathon time significantly. The point of easy runs is to run slow in order to run fast. Yes it sounds silly but it does work! Elizabeth has been running this way for 3 years now and shows how it works. She also links to another article which is more scientific and shows you how to determine your maximum aerobic heart rate. Monitoring it makes you a more efficient runner. I found it interesting and thought some of you would like it too.

I’ve been running 10+ minute paces on recovery runs and long runs for a lot of my training. Granted I haven’t been running for years but I definitely think taking 3 runs a week at a slow pace has helped me become faster.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you’ve been obsessed with this week?


Weekly Obsessions

Weekly Obsessions VII

Happy Friday! I’m happy to report that our cars are unstuck from the parking lot. I know that you were all waiting on the edge of your seats for that one πŸ˜‰ I have a few things on the agenda for this weekend but I plan to have lots of down time to relax as well. For whatever reason, I woke up exhausted this morning. Considering the clocks spring ahead an hour this weekend, I hope to get back to my normal self. Have a great day!

Free Military Care Packages

Crown Royal Military Care Package

When I was on Facebook earlier this week, someone posted a link for sending a free bag to deployed service members. It seemed too good to be true but I clicked on the it anyways. Crown Royal is partnering with Packages From Home to send free bags to those overseas. You can follow the link and select four items to put in your care bag. The items are some of the most requested by service members overseas. Then add a personal message to be sent with it and viola! You can brighten up a service members day. I absolutely love this and hope you’ll take a few minutes to send a package to those protecting our freedom.

I did a little research on Packages From Home and love the organization! It’s a non profit started by a woman named Kathleen Lewis. She started sending care packages to her son who was deployed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He wrote back that the packages reminded him that someone was thinking about him while away but a lot of the people he knew weren’t getting anything. His mom had her friends “adopt” his troop to send packages and it has grown from there. Here is an excerpt form the website so you can learn a bit more: “The mission of Packages From Home is to send care and comfort packages to deployed American military heroes who are stationed in active duty theaters around the world, as well as to facilitate activities that elevate morale of all veterans.”

Raspberry Lemonade Drink Mix


I am constantly sipping on water. It’s rare that you’ll see me without my water bottle. Sometimes plain water gets boring though. This past week, I found these raspberry lemonade drink mixes tucked back in the cabinet. I pulled it out and have been enjoying it this week. I like it after dinner for a little something extra to sip on before bed. This brand is just the local grocery store brand but this one from Target looks like it will be making it’s way into my cart next time I’m there.

The Rambling Runner Podcast


Podcasts are something that I love to listen to. On Instagram, I have been seeing a lot of people I follow talk about The Rambling Runner podcast. I decided to download Elizabeth Jansen‘s episode to try it out. Elizabeth started running when her brother was unexpected killed in a rockslide. She’s currently trying to become a Boston Marathon qualifier and working towards a sub-3 hour marathon.

If her story doesn’t seem like something you would enjoy, I’m sure there is someone that Matt Chittim has interviewed that you would like to learn more about. He asks a bunch of questions to his guests and it’s really interesting to hear their answers. If you like running or just hearing how people work towards a goal then I highly recommend checking out this podcast.

No Power


This might seem like a weird thing to love but hear me out. Yes it was a pain to not be able to see anything as it got dark or to have heat for 7 hours when it was below freezing. It was fun though. For a while it was Alex and I just hanging out and talking with no distractions. Then one of our neighbors asked if we all wanted to play Cards Against Humanity which seemed like a nice way to spend an hour. Now I don’t want to lose power again because we honestly didn’t know how long it would be out (some New Jersey residents are still without power) but it was a forced disconnect that I think every can use every once in a while. Plus we ended up moving our mattress to in front of the fire we had going in order to have heat while we slept. If we had power that would not have happened and it was fun! A different way to spend the night but so enjoyable.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you’ve been obsessing with this week?

Weekly Obsessions

Weekly Obsessions VI

It’s Fri-yay! It’s supposed to rain today (thank you nor’easter) and I really don’t even care because it’s the weekend. The only thing on the agenda is car shopping which I can’t wait for. Alex and I are also planning on having a little game night as well which will be fun since I’ll beat him in everything πŸ˜‰ We get very competitive during game nights. In typical Friday fashion I’m sharing some things that I’ve been obsessed with this week. I hope that you have a great day πŸ™‚

Knot Earrings


Typically, I just throw on fake diamond studs every day. This past week I have been changing it up with these bronze knotted earrings. I’ve worn them minimum three times in the past four days. They were a gift from my brother that he got from a boutique in Lansing, Michigan called October Moon. I haven’t been to that store but he buys all of his gifts to myself, mom and sister from there since they gift wrap. Everything is beautiful! Unfortunately the store doesn’t have a website but these earrings are really similar.

Cashew Butter


Cashew butter is something that I’ve been wanting to try for a while but didn’t because it seemed expensive and I wasn’t even sure if I would like it. I saw a jar at Aldi’s from Simply Nature for under $5 which seemed like the perfect price to me to try it out at. I’m loving this stuff! Spreading it on pretzels is amazing. I put it on a smoothie this week as well for extra protein and it definitely helped to keep me full. I can’t find this one online but this jar from Simply Balanced at Target looks good and might be my next purchase.

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter


From Barnes and Noble “Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind… Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead and it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself β€” the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…”

The Good Daughter is one of the better thrillers that I’ve read in a while! There was one plot point that I honestly didn’t see coming. If I’m being honest I did guess one of the plot points but I’m chalking that up to I read so many thrillers it’s hard. Even with that being said it was such a good story. Now I need to find more books by Karin Slaughter to enjoy.

Pilleteri’s Original Marinade


This marinade is AMAZING friends!! You need it in your life. Alex got it for Christmas in his stocking and it’s been a wonderful gift. So far we’ve only used it on steak (twice) but it keeps the meat moist while adding a really subtle flavor. Plus it’s all natural so you really can’t beat that. We need to try it on chicken soon because I think it will be just as delicious. I could see tossing veggies in this before roasting as well. Unfortunately it looks like it is out of stock at Amazon but you can order it from Pelleteri’s website.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you’ve been obsessed with this week?

Favorites, Fitness, Workout

Top Workout Songs: February 2018

Happy Wednesday! It’s the last day of February which is absolutely crazy to me. I feel like this month flew by! While I realize that’s probably due to the fact that there’s only 28 days in the month but it has always dragged on before. Does anyone else feel that way? Last month, I shared my top workout songs for the month and said I wanted to do it from now on. Fear not, I didn’t forget and managed to squeak this post in just in time. Let me know what songs you have been loving this month!

Without Me by Eminem

I’m not a big Eminem person or rap person in general but I have been loving this song the past few weeks! It’s perfect for rest in between intervals on my workouts and I’ve caught myself bobbing my head along to the beat on long runs.

This Is Me by Keala Settle from The Greatest Showman

Are you having a bad day? Listen to this song. Did you just get a promotion? Listen to this song. Do you need a little “I’m awesome” in your life? Listen to this song. This song is amazing for any kind of mood. Her vocals are unreal and the message is amazing as well.

The Champion by Carrie Underwood

Let the record show that I have a girl crush on Carrie Underwood. She’s beautiful and he voice is to die for. The Champion has been on repeat a little too often this month I think. It’s definitely a motivator for me! I read an article that said they looked into motivational speeches from some of the top coaches to write the lyrics which I believe comes out in the song.

Everytime We Touch by Cascada

I’m pretty sure this song came out when I was in 6th grade but I still love it. The beat is perfect for faster workouts. It’s a total throwback but sometimes those songs are the best! I find myself singing along out loud in my head.

I’m Just A Kid by Simple Plan

I first heard this song when I watched Cheaper by the Dozen in theaters about 15 years ago (what?!). I had completely forgotten about it until it played on my Summer Hits of the 2000s playlist that I follow on Spotify. This song is a throwback for me which is why I think I’ve been enjoying it so much this past month.

Question of the day: What’s one song you’ve been loving this month for your workouts?

Weekly Obsessions

Weekly Obsessions V

Happy Fri-yay friends! How was your week? I had a pretty exciting week which you’ll see why below. I don’t think there’s anything on the agenda for my weekend as of right now and that’s fine by me! Earlier this week both Alex and someone in the comments commented on how we still have Christmas decorations up…no shame! But since it’s almost March maybe I’ll make a trip to Home Goods to get some spring decor. Nothing like a weekend full of rain that’ll get me to shop. Alex is also sharing one of his favorites today so I hope you enjoy it! Have a great day πŸ™‚

My New Haircut

Haircut Feb. 2018

I mentioned last week that I was getting my haircut this past weekend. Since the lady blow dried it nice and straight with a little curl at the end, I wasn’t sure what it would look like once back to my natural curls. As anyone with curly hair can attest to, it can be a little nerve wracking to get a haircut (just me?). Worrying was pointless because it turned out great. The length is so nice and my hair feels so healthy right now. I’m loving the shorter length that is has right now!



When I was walking through the produce section last weekend, I must have blacked out because all of a sudden kiwi were in my shopping cart. At least the impulse buy was healthy right? It’s been nice coming home after work or a run and cutting up a few and eating them in a bowl. In case you need an easy way to take the skin off try this trick: cut the ends so it can stand up flat. Using a spoon, go into the kiwi and follow the curve of it. Try to get it very close to the skin so you get as much fruit as possible. It’s the easiest way to take the skin off in my opinion.

Queso Chicken Chili from Pinch of Yum

Queso Chicken Chili

Technically this is a recipe for a crockpot but I don’t own a normal size crockpot. Mine is 1.5 qt (I believe) which is pretty small. I saw this recipe pop up on a few blogs last week and decided to make it on the stove on Sunday. Oh my goodness…this recipe is a winner everyone! It’s definitely a little more work on the stove since I would occasionally stir it since the heat is concentrated on the bottom but I would happily put the effort in. The only change I made was putting two chipotles in adoba sauce in the pot and they kinda of just broke apart over time which gave a really nice flavor. It makes a big batch and we’ve had it for dinner 3 times this week. The rest went in the freezer last night and I’m already looking forward to eating it again. My favorite way to eat it is by topping it with some avocado and dipping tortilla chips in.

A Midweek Celebration For Being Debt Free

Champagne For No Student Loans

I made a goal of my after graduating that I would pay my student loans back as soon as possible. After doing a few rough calculations, I challenged myself to do it within a year of graduating college. Paying them back so quickly was a personal choice and it was not a small amount by any means either. This week, I put in the final payment on my student loans!! It feels so good to say that y’all. I paid a small amount during the final semester of college due to some scholarships I received but the bulk was paid back starting in June 2017. So in 8 months I was able to accomplish my goal. Alex and I decided to celebrate with a little champagne during the week!

To be honest and frank, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share this on the blog or not. By no means do I want it to come across in a bragging manner or that I’m better than someone for paying down my loans this quickly. Everyone’s financial situation is different. With that being said, I hope you can all understand why I am sharing about this accomplishment.

Alex’s Favorite

Maureen In PJs, Green Mask and Messy Bun

Alex wanted to share something with you all. Everything after this sentence is in his words.Β This is Alex here: After a long day of work, client meetings, classes, and real estate licensing, I get to come home to a green creature from Star Wars. #blessed

Question of the day: What’s one thing you’ve been obsessed with this week?